Verizon Information Services and Cal Ripken Jr. Hit a Home Run for Literacy

BALTIMORE - Thousands have cheered for Cal Ripken Jr. throughout his phenomenal career with the Baltimore Orioles. On Saturday, Aug. 25, Orioles fans will cheer Cal Ripken for a different reason. Ripken will accept a $35,000 donation from Verizon Information Services on behalf of the Baltimore Reads Book Bank.

Ronald Shoop, general sales manager - Baltimore sales division for Verizon Information Services, will present the check to Ripken on the field at Camden Yards before Saturday night's baseball game. The evening is designated "Cal Ripken Jr. Back to School Book Drive Night," and Orioles fans are being asked to bring new and gently used books to the ballpark to be donated to needy families.

Verizon Information Services, publisher of the SuperPages brand of telephone directories and creator of SuperPages.com, is the largest corporate sponsor of the Baltimore Reads Book Bank for the third consecutive year. Baltimore Reads organizes programs to instill the love of reading and family learning and to improve reading skills of disadvantaged children and adults. Ripken is a key supporter.

In communities throughout the country, Verizon Information Services provides financial support, donates volunteer hours to literacy programs and has collected nearly 500,000 books for children.

"Supporting literacy is critical to Verizon because we believe the ability to read, write and communicate is the foundation for success in life. Literacy helps prepare kids for a lifetime of learning," said Shoop. "We are delighted to join Cal Ripken Jr. and Baltimore Reads in donating books to families who can't afford them."

Verizon's donation will help Baltimore Reads strengthen, monitor and evaluate the impact of distributing children's books to low-income families.

"Baltimore Reads is thrilled to have Verizon's continued support, " said Marlene C. McLaurin, executive director, Baltimore Reads. "Reading is a core value in every community and Verizon has enabled us to reach more children and donate more books in the Baltimore community."

Book Donations

Each year, the Baltimore Reads Book Bank distributes approximately 100,000 books to families. The books are available in social service waiting rooms, homeless shelters, community and health centers and schools.

Individuals, schools, companies and organizations can donate new and gently used children's books at drop-off sites throughout the city. Drop-off sites are located at the Baltimore Reads Book Bank, Borders Books & Music, Port Discovery, Rotunda Mall and Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Bel Air, Downtown, Ellicott City, and Towson. For more information about Baltimore Reads call 410-752-3595.

Verizon's Literacy Programs

Verizon Information Services sponsors community outreach programs across the nation designed to increase the literacy rate of children and to help people of all ages become computer literate. These programs are part of Verizon's overall commitment to leading the effort to increase U.S. literacy levels. Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, Verizon works to increase community and corporate awareness, raise funds, encourage collaboration among literacy providers and engage employees in supporting literacy programs.

Verizon Information Services and SuperPages.com

Verizon Information Services is a leading print and online directory publisher and a content provider for communications products and services. The largest directory publisher in the world, Verizon has annual revenues of more than $4.1 billion and publishes nearly 1,600 Verizon directory titles with a total circulation of approximately 144 million copies worldwide. Verizon Information Services also produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's preeminent online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com receives as many as 10 million visits and completes as many as 25 million searches per month.

Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), one of the world's leading providers of communications services.

For more information on Verizon Information Services, visit www.verizonyellowpages.com. For more information on Verizon's literacy programs, visit www.SuperPages.com and click on the Verizon Reads icon.